|Premonition, by Henryk Weyssenhoff, approximately 1893. |
Image is in the Public Domain.
The world is an extraordinary place; there are many strange things out there, both genuine and fake. If you're experiencing or investigating a haunting, or are just curious, it's nice to know exactly what you're dealing with, as no two hauntings are ever the same. So let's take a look at the types of hauntings that can be found out there.
The name says it all, intelligent hauntings are intelligent and, even if you haven't experienced one for yourself, you'll be familiar with this type of haunting as it pops up all the time in movies and shows. These spirits retained their intelligence and personality in death, making them interesting to interact with during investigations. However, interesting doesn't equal easy. These spooks are smart, they might share misleading information or just choose not to interact with you at all. But if you can get one to interact with you, then it's worth experimenting a bit with different equipment or by trying to get them to move things, make noises or show themselves. It's also worth noting that although they're aware of what's going on around them, the spirit might not even know that they're dead. The ones that are aware might not want to leave or may have some unfinished business to attend to before they do.
A Residual haunting can't be interacted with in the same way as an intelligent haunting, as the spirit isn't aware of anything and can only be witnessed. When a negative event occurs, it can leave an imprint of what happened on the energies of the environment around it, like a short recording or a stain. This snapshot in time will then replay itself repeatedly or, occasionally, on the anniversary of the traumatic event that caused it. Sometimes these types of haunting are visible, other times they manifest in the form of sounds and smells. One example of this type of haunting is the Battle of Culloden Moor. This historical battle was a massacre, which took place on the 16th of April 1746 and is said to repeat itself every year on that date, with witnesses having heard the sounds of battle echoing over the otherwise silent moorland. And that's only the residual part of the haunting. Since so many people were killed there, there are also instances of intelligent hauntings occurring in this area.
It would be easy to jump to conclusions and assume that this type of hauntings means demonic activity, but that's not always the case. Just because a spirit is inhuman, it doesn't mean it's demonic in nature. Inhuman hauntings can include animal spirits, shadow people, elementals and other spirits that have never existed in a human form. These spirits are often part of an intelligent haunting and, as a result, differ in temperament and personality. The downside is that sometimes this type of haunting can be unpleasant, more so than a hostile intelligent haunting, leading to their demonic reputation. An excellent example of an unpleasant inhuman haunting would be the one that occurred at Berkeley Square. A much more friendly instance of this type of ghost would be Gef the talking Mongoose.
Everyone will be familiar with this iconic, noisy spirit. Experts are torn on what Poltergeists actually are, with some believing them to be a type of spirit. In contrast, others consider them a form of energy inadvertently caused by a troubled household member. Think of it as a type of stress-related psychic activity. Some Poltergeists seem happy just to make a ruckus, but most will attach themselves to and actively target a member of the household they are haunting.
Poltergeist activity often starts slowly, building up to a crescendo before suddenly stopping. The sudden lack of action doesn't always mean that the haunting is over. Sometimes it restarts at a later date. Activity often includes loud noises, disembodied voices, objects appearing from thin air, and objects being moved or flung around. Unfortunately, in some cases, the things being thrown around are the people being haunted. Examples of Poltergeist activity include the Enfield Poltergeist, the haunting of Borley Rectory and the Mackenzie Poltergeist.
|The Library of Combermere Abbey, taken by Sybell Corbet, 1891.|
Image is in the Public Domain
What are your theories on hauntings? Are you a believer, or do you think it's all rubbish? Heard any good ghost stories lately and just want to share them with other readers and me? Leave a comment below or tag me in a Tweet!